Stewie, the Ultimate Sixth (Wo)man. | The Boneyard

Stewie, the Ultimate Sixth (Wo)man.

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Kibitzer

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First, a little history. Most students of the game know that the immortal Red Auerbach invented the "sixth man" concept. He wanted his Celtics to be strengthened by his first substitution, and the first player to be used in this (then) innovative concept was Frank Ramsey. Next came John Havlicek, a legendary "sixth man" for many years. Havlicek could come in at guard (2) or forward (3) and his combination of skill and versatility created immediate mismatchmes that drove opposing coaches nuts. (Also helped Hondo and Russ collect a lot of rings.)

Which brings me up to the present. It seems to me that Stewie is superbly equipped to do for Geno just what Hondo did for for Red: (1) Give the team a spark at different positions (2,3,4) and (2) create a mismatch nightmare for the other side.

Any thoughts?
 

pap49cba

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Kib, I think you are reading Geno's (and the committee's) mind.
 

Kibitzer

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Kib, I think you are reading Geno's (and the committee's) mind.

Red would have never retired as coach had he had someone like Stewie on hand.
 

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Not buying it. On the Olympic team, USA has the luxury of 5 available 'sixth men' each with different and unique skills - I actually think Stewart and Sims will be competing for the least minutes off the bench in the WCs. This is more learning experience than anything for them both.
On Uconn - too much skill and too many match-up problems not to play Stewart from the tip. Same will be true when she gets to the W.
Geno has certainly incorporated that kind of idea in his utilization of freshman like Moore and DT, but that was more learning experience for them and relieving pressure than 'sixth man' concept. He does want the first person off the bench to add energy to the mix, and if anyone, I suspect Tuck will be the sixth man this year.
 

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USA, the way the system works Stewart and Sims likely to see the least amount of minutes. 2nd half a close championship game or some game where they look like they might not win, not so sure.

UConn, Morgan likely to come off the bench because of coming off an injury. If healthy and progressing quickly in practice, it would not surprise me to see her in the starting lineup though that might mean a shift to the backcourt for KML. While she prefers to start, KML off the bench would be a handful. To me, first player off the bench is very interesting to see out it pans out.
 

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As for UConn, I persist in being a minority voice. If Morgan is injury-free and capable of playing to her vast capability, she starts. We will know by December 1.
 

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sTu and Kib - I don't see Morgan Stewart and Kiah on the floor at the same time much as they represent the total of the front court for the team this year. I think it is possible that Stewart starts as center but I think Kiah is more likely with Stewart at 4.
 

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sTu and Kib - I don't see Morgan Stewart and Kiah on the floor at the same time much as they represent the total of the front court for the team this year. I think it is possible that Stewart starts as center but I think Kiah is more likely with Stewart at 4.

Unlike last year, I think we may be playing more than a six player rotation. IF the Frosh are earning their minutes there are a couple of wing types plus the huge wild card of Williams(I know she projects as a guard but with that vertical she has and her body type?) that might add considerable depth to the front court rotation. I sure wish I could attend some of those October practices, the ladies are going to be getting after it!
 
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sTu and Kib - I don't see Morgan Stewart and Kiah on the floor at the same time much as they represent the total of the front court for the team this year. I think it is possible that Stewart starts as center but I think Kiah is more likely with Stewart at 4.
I concur.

There is nothing on the bench that remotely resembles a 4/5 with Tuck, Stewart and Stokes on the floor.
 

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You are thinking Geno has to remove all three at the same time?
 
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USA, the way the system works Stewart and Sims likely to see the least amount of minutes. 2nd half a close championship game or some game where they look like they might not win, not so sure.

UConn, Morgan likely to come off the bench because of coming off an injury. If healthy and progressing quickly in practice, it would not surprise me to see her in the starting lineup though that might mean a shift to the backcourt for KML. While she prefers to start, KML off the bench would be a handful. To me, first player off the bench is very interesting to see out it pans out.

I know you are not saying that KML should/might come off the bench, but the whole conversation makes me nervous. Rarely do the best player or next best player coming off the bench. Bria came off the bench, more symbolically then real, as a courtesy to Doty (and she was struggling- and it probably was not as clean as we think). Nor do I think Jefferson will come off the bench because Nurse proves to be phenomenal. Of course things could happen (hope not) like Jefferson getting hurt and losing her job because she cannot return to form. Even at Uconn moving people is probably not as easy as we think. Bad chemistry, insecurity and not a sign that you want to flash to recruits.
 
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I think the starting lineup is set at four spots with an open audition for the two guard. Offensively, it's the Stewie and Lewie show, with plenty of other contributions. But I really believe there will be plenty of Morgan, Stewie, and Kiah at the same time, although I wouldn't be surprised if it's Morgan at the two rather than KML. I'm ready for November!
 
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It will be very interesting to see how Geno uses this prolific group of guards and forwards. As he usually does, I think he will defer to the experienced players in selecting starters as a measure of the respect they have earned. But he isn't very sentimental about making substitutions and sitting players down who are not giving him the performance/match-ups he wants. The resource issues in the post will be the biggest concern since he doesn't have a true back-up center. Protecting Kiah against teams who will make it their business to get her in early foul trouble will be a key. So he will need to be judicious in utilizing the players who will back her up at the center position. I don't think it will turn out to be a huge problem, but I think that putting all the potential post players out there at one time is asking for trouble. Most teams are going to be sucking air against the team speed we will put out there. If the expected perimeter scoring develops as we think it should we will beat people on offense while we are suffocating them on defense. We will probably have to rotate players quite a bit to play the aggressive defense we want to play and we will have to see which combinations of guards/forwards can bring the pressure and score easily in transition or off half court sets. It's a lot of fun thinking about how to best use Moriah, Kia, Sadie, Courtney, Kalana, Saniya, Gabby, Stewie at the guard/forward positions. Morgan needs to be saved for post play even though she can do a lot more for us. She is our best resource to ensure Kiah will stay out of foul trouble. Against some teams without a great post presence it may not be a huge issue. Against very solid post teams she may have to come off the bench. Can't wait to see how the new players mesh with the vets.
 

meyers7

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As for UConn, I persist in being a minority voice. If Morgan is injury-free and capable of playing to her vast capability, she starts. We will know by December 1.
I do hope you are wrong. If Tuck is starting that most likely means Stokes/KML isn't performing well (or is injured). I'd much rather have Stokes/KML performing well and Tuck come off the bench.
 

meyers7

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But I really believe there will be plenty of Morgan, Stewie, and Kiah at the same time, although I wouldn't be surprised if it's Morgan at the two rather than KML. I'm ready for November!
I think some of you are going the wrong way with players this year. We are short in the post (4/5 positions). Tuck will be playing more 5 than usual, as will Stewart. KML will be playing more 4 than usual. We have an abundance of 1/2/3 this year. No need to move players up.
 

Kibitzer

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Thanks for many thoughtful comments, all positive and certainly a welcome respite from the incessant posts about Griner's virtues.

Let me focus on Morgan for a moment. Certainly there must be some anxiety about how well and how long she recovers from her injuries and surgeries. For purposes of this discussion, let's assume she is good-to-go. Completely.

It is my honest belief that a healthy Morgan Tuck brings a skill level comparable to the Ogwumike sisters or Alyssa Thomas. I see her as being that good. So that's why I expect her to start, come December.

I also believe that Geno is smart enough to always have at least two of his three "bigs" (Stewie, Kiah and Morgan) on the court at the same time and that is sufficient height and wing span to score or defend in the paint. And remember, he has three 6' freshmen who bring high expectations (and hops).

For those who disagree, I respect your views and suggest we wait and watch and see how this plays out. I could not be more eager (and not at all anxious) for the season to begin.
 
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Back to the national team....

So, starting 5 will be something like... Bird, Taurasi, Moore, Ogwumike, Griner? While Stewart is a talented young player, I don't see her being the first off the bench when Whalen, Augustus, McCoughtry, Dupree, and Charles are available. I don't think that she will get plenty of play time, just not the first/most used player off the bench (aka 6th man).
 

meyers7

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Back to the national team....

So, starting 5 will be something like... Bird, Taurasi, Moore, Ogwumike, Griner? While Stewart is a talented young player, I don't see her being the first off the bench when Whalen, Augustus, McCoughtry, Dupree, and Charles are available. I don't think that she will get plenty of play time, just not the first/most used player off the bench (aka 6th man).
Charles will start before Griner (experience). I could see them using Charles at the 4 some with Griner.
 
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Thanks for many thoughtful comments, all positive and certainly a welcome respite from the incessant posts about Griner's virtues.

Let me focus on Morgan for a moment. Certainly there must be some anxiety about how well and how long she recovers from her injuries and surgeries. For purposes of this discussion, let's assume she is good-to-go. Completely.

It is my honest belief that a healthy Morgan Tuck brings a skill level comparable to the Ogwumike sisters or Alyssa Thomas. I see her as being that good. So that's why I expect her to start, come December.

I also believe that Geno is smart enough to always have at least two of his three "bigs" (Stewie, Kiah and Morgan) on the court at the same time and that is sufficient height and wing span to score or defend in the paint. And remember, he has three 6' freshmen who bring high expectations (and hops).

For those who disagree, I respect your views and suggest we wait and watch and see how this plays out. I could not be more eager (and not at all anxious) for the season to begin.

Maybe she can become that kind of play, but at this point it is all speculation as to how good Morgan can be. She has unfortunately been slowed by knee issues her first two years. I don't think they go into the year with game a plan around Morgan playing major minutes. Especially given that she has two more years of eligibility left after this year. I think it is in the teams best interest and Morgan's (making it a as pro) that they go slow and make sure she makes it thru the year health... and there is no regression in strengthening her knees.
 

UcMiami

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Thanks for many thoughtful comments, all positive and certainly a welcome respite from the incessant posts about Griner's virtues.

Let me focus on Morgan for a moment. Certainly there must be some anxiety about how well and how long she recovers from her injuries and surgeries. For purposes of this discussion, let's assume she is good-to-go. Completely.

It is my honest belief that a healthy Morgan Tuck brings a skill level comparable to the Ogwumike sisters or Alyssa Thomas. I see her as being that good. So that's why I expect her to start, come December.

I also believe that Geno is smart enough to always have at least two of his three "bigs" (Stewie, Kiah and Morgan) on the court at the same time and that is sufficient height and wing span to score or defend in the paint. And remember, he has three 6' freshmen who bring high expectations (and hops).

For those who disagree, I respect your views and suggest we wait and watch and see how this plays out. I could not be more eager (and not at all anxious) for the season to begin.
Kib - love Morgans game and the O sisters is an interesting comparison though she has better range than either of them. But even with them being the most talented members of their respective Stanford teams, Tara made sure she had a 'center' on the court playing with them especially for defensive purposes for 90+% of their playing time. Putting Morgan at the five will never be her most effective position - as it will not be Stewart's most effective position. In games against good front courts, I expect Kiah to dominate the '5' playing time, and when she is not in the game, Stewart will be reluctantly moved to that position. Morgan will be used to spell KML and Stewart at the 4 and 3 positions. If she ends up at the 5 it will because of fouls or because Uconn is going with speed and a very short line-up.
 

UcMiami

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Back to the national team....

So, starting 5 will be something like... Bird, Taurasi, Moore, Ogwumike, Griner? While Stewart is a talented young player, I don't see her being the first off the bench when Whalen, Augustus, McCoughtry, Dupree, and Charles are available. I don't think that she will get plenty of play time, just not the first/most used player off the bench (aka 6th man).
Pretty sure Dupree and Charles start - experience and balance - Nneka and Griner then make a good combo off the bench with Nneka providing rebounding which is not Griner's strongest skill.
 

easttexastrash

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Angel, Whalen and Nneka are pretty good 6th "men" off the bench, as is Srewart. When other teams have a drop off in talent when going to the bench, the US is just as strong, if not stronger.
 

easttexastrash

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Pretty sure Dupree and Charles start - experience and balance - Nneka and Griner then make a good combo off the bench with Nneka providing rebounding which is not Griner's strongest skill.

I agree. Start the veterans and let the young whipper snappers come off the bench. But I sure would like to see Griner at the 5 and Charles at the 4 together. That would be an incredible front line and possibly the best ever seen in international play.
 

UConnCat

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Pretty sure Dupree and Charles start - experience and balance - Nneka and Griner then make a good combo off the bench with Nneka providing rebounding which is not Griner's strongest skill.

I don't know about Dupree. She started yesterday's game, was pulled after 5 minutes and didn't see the court again. The same thing happened 4 years ago in the Finals against the Czech Republic -- Dupree started, was pulled after about 10 mins and didn't play again. Must be something about playing the CR.
 
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